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WATCH: Fuel costs take a bite into fruit and veg trade

01 June, 04:06 PM

In a snap survey conducted by News24 reporter Erin Bates, respondents voiced concerns over the cost of food following the petrol hike on Wednesday.

The Cape Town Market moves truck loads of fresh produce daily, with stock arriving from as far as Limpopo and Namibia around the clock.

Agents said the increase in fuel prices, along with the drought, is putting pressure on their trade.

"Farmers rely on diesel to plough fields, diesel is also the fuel used to bring the produce to the markets as well as the bigger buyers doing the distributions away from the market so it has a complete impact," said market agent Uthmaan Rhoha.

Another agent, Stiaan Huysamen, described a scarcity in stock as farmers struggle to harvest due to poor weather conditions. When News24 asked Huysamen how agents made a profit while still keeping the cost of food down for consumers he said, "It's difficult, it's difficult."

"The more the petrol price increases, the more we have to get for the product, obviously."  

However, Adrian de Villiers who manages trade at the Cape Town Market, said some consumers had found clever ways to save on fresh food.

Another visitor to the market, Tasneem Brenner, sells fresh produce in Delft. She encouraged consumers to purchase fresh goods from their local green grocer, rather than supermarkets.

"Yes, because we are cheaper than Shoprite, obviously."

News24 aksed both Pick n Pay and Shoprite for comment on the petrol price and its impact on their cost of goods. Both retailers declined invitations for on-camera interviews.

Watch above.

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